KYIV – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday that he would personally engage in the return of former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili from a Georgia prison to Ukraine because he holds a Ukrainian passport.
Saakashvili was arrested in Georgia on Friday after opposition politicians returned to the country despite facing imprisonment and called for street protests after the election later this week.
“As President of Ukraine, I am constantly engaged in returning citizens of Ukraine” [back to the country] With different abilities that I have,” Zelensky said.
“Mr Saakashvili is a Ukrainian citizen, so this applies to him as well,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky said Ukraine’s foreign ministry, its government and the embassy in Georgia would all be involved in dealing with Saakashvili.
Saakashvili, who was living in Ukraine and sentenced in absentia in Georgia in 2018, said he would go home for Saturday’s local elections to help “save the country”.
Georgia’s ruling party has taken a commanding lead in municipal elections over the opposition United National Movement founded by Saakashvili, which has seized on national prominence amid a protracted political crisis.
Georgia’s current president, Salome Zaurbichvili, said she would not pardon him and accused him of deliberately trying to destabilize the country.
Saakashvili’s lawyer described his arrest as “political custody”. In a letter published on Saturday by his lawyer, Saakashvili blamed his arrest on false decisions made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, his longtime foe.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times